What I learnt from 30 days of journaling

As home based learning kicked in again in Singapore and the end of the school year looming, the first learning I’ve had is why did I give myself the responsibility of setting this 30 day #MaryBChallenge?

My inner critic (as I call it my ‘joy stealing monster’!) started to talk to me –

“It’s not as if I haven’t got enough plates to juggle.”

“I don’t suppose anyone is really interested anyway.”

“Why am I bothering?”

Anyway, I do have a value around commitment and showing up so I felt the (self inflicted) pressure and did it anyway!

Journaling has been a part of my life for over 20 years. Sometimes it’s a download of how I am feeling, sometimes it’s writing about what I want for my future and most times it’s about being grateful. I personally find, which is also proven by the science, that when I’m grateful I can’t feel angry, sad or fearful. It’s both a cathartic and creative process. 

So as a ‘seasoned’ journaller and as I reflect over the 30 days, I was surprised about how emotional some of the daily prompts made me. In particular on Day 18 when I wrote about who inspires me to be better version of me, immediately I thought about my two wonderful children who challenge me to grow every day! We know that children are like little sponges and they are absorbing all of our behaviours every day unconsciously – which to be honest as parent often scares the hell out of me! And I know when I am living my best self, with the knowledge that,  I am a human being doing the best I can with the resources I have available to me at that time’  I am being a better role model for my children.

The other one that took me by surprise was on Day 8 when I wrote a letter to my 16 year old younger self. It actually made me cry. Younger Mary had no idea what was around the corner for her,  both from horrible and joyous life events perspectives, and I just wanted to tell her to believe in herself and everything would work out for her.

On Day 3 when I wrote  a thank you to a specific someone who has helped me in my life, I actually sent a card in the post to tell her how much she means to me. She cried too when she received it. It was a joy to acknowledge her again.

What about you? I wonder which ones were impactful? Which ones triggered you more emotionally?

I enjoyed the discipline of journaling every day consecutively.

I loved the different topics, even though I created them myself 😁 and I gave myself permission to do as little or as much in the time I had available.

I always found the time even if it was writing a few words just before bedtime.

It also gave me a real feeling of achievement. As a results focussed person that’s important to me.

And so 30 days later I am delighted that I did share this challenge. And yes people did join in, thank you to all of you. Big shout out to Elly Both for the private daily message I received to confirm completion of that days prompt, it was a lovely reminder to me in the early days of the challenge that someone out there was gaining something from my sharing.The constant public encouragement from Angela Foulds is a testament to all the Coaches she invites into her stable, thank you. The private messages I received from Mary B Tribers who I know would prefer to remain anonymous that journaled for the first time in their lives and I loved hearing how they treated themselves to new journals and just gave it a go. I am happy that with the help of my amazing Lianne Kenny that it’s all recorded on IG so people can do it at their own pace too. A free resource for you and your friends to be visited at any time.

All of these measures of progress and of self compassion warms my heart and reminds me to keep on doing what I’m doing which is helping people to live their best one and only life with happiness, health, courage and resilience. 

So I wonder, what will be my next #MaryBChallenge?  I‘m curious, any thoughts?

As an extra bonus on Day 9, when I wrote about my favourite book as a child, my 10 year old daughter found a copy that was being given away at school and she traded her own book of choice to bring it home to me  – yes, our children are constantly watching what we are doing aren’t they…